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praymusically BY ALEX MACDOUGALL A N IN T E RV IE W W I T H M AT T R EDM A N Photo Credit: Robby Klein W orship Leader’s Alex MacDougall caught up with Matt Redman as Matt prepares to release his next album, Glory Song on September 29th. WL: We met in 1997 at a Kingsway conference in Southport, UK. This was just before the beginning of British-born worship music achieving high awareness levels in the US during the late 20th century. Those times were all so thrilling. Have you noticed many changes in leading worship from those early days? Matt Redman: Those were such special times to be sure - so much newness and momentum around fresh expressions in worship music. I love seeing how things have progressed since then - there’s a whole lot of creativity around and a lot of people trying to take the art of writing worship songs really seriously. The one difference I notice more than any other I guess is that these days a whole industry has grown up around worship music. There’s a lot of good to be said of that because it’s a great way of resourcing people with new songs and a soundtrack for their worship with God. I really mean that. We can hear expressions from so many far corners of the church these days, and that’s a fantastic thing. But there are definitely some challenges that come along with that too. It means we have to check our hearts ever more ruthlessly - because attention and hype and being on a stage are all things that can become very disorientating, distracting - and ultimately dangerous. Even the social media side of things is interesting - that wasn’t even a thing when I started out! Again, it can be a wonderful tool, used in the right way - you can point to new songs, you can edify and encourage - and you can connect with warmth - and all that stuff. 56 WOR S H I P L E A D E R | W O R S HIPLEAD ER.CO M | SEPTEM BER/O CTO BER 2017 But maturity is learning how to live in the world of Instagram and Twitter and Snapchat and still operate with the same values you would in a church service. And that’s where the challenge lies, as there’s a lot of opportunity for self- celebration, self-promotion and showing off these days - so we’ve all got to be careful. A quick example - the “retweet” of something nice someone said about you, or your leadership, or your music - it’s something we’ve come to accept as normal in our culture. But the bible says in Proverbs, “Let someone else praise you, and not your own lips” - so you’ve got to take the values of scripture and make sure we’re applying them to these relatively new areas of life like social media. Especially if you’re a leader. And note that I’m preaching to myself on this - not trying to judge others - it’s definitely not an easy thing to navigate.